A better way to educate

Self Managed Learning College is part of a global movement bringing traditional 19th century education into the 21st century by paying attention to solid evidence of better ways of educating young people. The case I will make here is that the role of adults and of schools should be to support young people in taking charge of their own lives and, centrally, of their own learning. I will mention a few examples of solid evidence about learning before indicating how to respond to this evidence. Evidence All young people are different. Specifically all the research shows that people (young and […]

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Volunteers and Placement Students

We have been delighted to have the support of volunteers to assist us in our work. This year we are very fortunate to have six placement students from BIMM and the University of Brighton. This enriches the experience for students and allows us to support volunteers who may be looking for a career in education. It has also been valuable to get support from experienced teachers who have welcomed a different approach to learning. We have been especially pleased to continue our collaboration with the University of Brighton and provide placements for their education students. The University of Brighton students […]

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Work experience

Onca Gallery In February , one of our students went on a work experience day to ONCA Gallery in Brighton. Rosy is interested in art history and philosophy and wanted to explore the possibility of managing a gallery in the future and find out what sort of work this kind of career would entail.  ONCA were very impressed with Rosy and have given her an open invitation to return to the Gallery for more work experience opportunities. ONCA are also keen to explore potential joint projects with SML College in the future.

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WHAT IS A 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION?

Some people have suggested that the only change from Victorian schools to those of today is from black to white – blackboards have changed to whiteboards. We still have classrooms that are not much different from the 19th century with curricula that have progressed little since then and with lessons of standardised times delivered in (increasingly) large institutions. Indeed there is an argument to suggest that the school is possibly the only institution that would be recognisable to a Victorian who might be transported to the current time. Factories now have robots and offices don’t have clerks working in serried […]

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Science tutor appointment

Science tutor appointment

We are delighted to welcome James Mannion to the College staff this term. James has worked as a Science teacher in Brighton for the last 10 years. He has a Masters in Person Centred Education from the University of Sussex and is currently completing a PhD in Learning to Learn at the University of Cambridge. James also works as an education consultant specialising in behaviour and teacher research, and is a founding director of Praxis Education CIC.

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Self Managed Learning with organisations

The Centre for Self Managed Learning was established originally to take forward the approach with organisations. It was only 15 years ago that we started work with young people. The Centre and its sister social enterprise company, Strategic Developments International, continue to further the SML approach and are regularly in demand to run programmes. We like readers to be aware that this work with young people is based on almost 40 years of significant experience and research with thousands of leaders and managers throughout the world. Our work continues currently with providing senior leadership development for organisations as diverse as […]

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The Brighton and Shanghai Educational Partnership

Helping Chinese young people to get a real education The following is a press release that the College issued earlier this year. “Dr Ian Cunningham of Brighton’s Self Managed Learning College argues that: “It’s madness that the UK Government wants to copy the Shanghai schooling model – an approach that fails its young people and its society. We have entered into a partnership with iSkool in Shanghai to support this new school to revolutionise education in China.” Ann Qiu, its Director, commented: “If a ‘successful’ education system is based on shaping students as conformists and passive learners without confidence in […]

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International links

As well as our link to China we continue to maintain a range of international contacts. Ian Cunningham met with Australian colleagues in Sydney in February and they reported on the enthusiasm for SML in their primary school. We continue to support the International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) as well as the Alternative Education Resource Organisation (AERO) in New York.

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Visitors to the College

We continue to welcome visitors who are interested in our work. We take seriously our charitable status to develop educational practice and to support parents and others. We have visits from other community organisations as well as schools (where they are looking for alternatives to use with students who do not respond to classroom-based learning). We have particularly enjoyed visits from educationalists from other countries who are planning to develop Self Managed Learning programmes. The most recent of these visitors have been from Chile and from the USA. Another reason for visitors is for them to engage with students around […]

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Recent conferences and events

SPARK was a Brighton-based one day conference on education that explored creative 21st century approaches to learning. Gillian Trott, David Allistone, Louis d’Aboville and Ian Cunningham contributed to it. ‘One Church’ community organisation organised an evening for young people on employability. Ian Cunningham made a presentation on our approach that prepares young people for the world of work by addressing the kinds of needs that employers want – team working skills, creativity and self management. A national conference critical of ‘The State of Education’ attracted many people and Ian has been involved in meeting after the conference in planning future […]

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